Innovations In Go-Karts
with Bobby Unser
Filmed January 2009

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It was our innovations, such as I've done hundreds of them, but it's the innovations like that, that sets our cars out.

That means, that theoretically if we don't drive any harder or any faster than old Joe Blow down the street there, we're gonna go faster, because our cars should be better.

I took that concept up many years ago, and it worked for me. In every form of racing that there was, it worked for me.

I did the same thing in snowmobiles and go-carts. Gosh, I even took go-carts at one time, and made a ground effects.

Meaning the ground effects is where air passes underneath whatever it is, and it sucks the car to the ground. 'Kay, we have them on Indy cars still today.

Formula One has a mini-- well, every form of racing where it's legal has it. But in those days, it was all new.

So, my youngest son, Robby, was driving go-carts, and my race shop over here, believe it or not, at one time, just ran go-carts.

We had to win races and we won something like around 85 percent of all the go-cart races that we ever entered with my young son Robby.

That's where Little Al came from, too. That's Big Al, my brother's son, Little Al. That's where he came from is that go-cart racing.

We innovated into that. We innovated tires. We innovated engines. I figured out ways to make the engines turn.

They were spec engines. So, I figured out ways to make the engine turn more RPM, or more RPMs, plural, than the other guys could do.

Because the engines, being a spec series, would quit, let's just say
at 13,000 RPM.

We raised the go-cart RPM in the go-carts, because they're a spec series engine, a little Yamaha engine.

We'd raise it, or I raised it, from 13,000 up to 13 and a half thousand RPM, which, in the real world, it goes to rim wheel torque.

That's the amount of power put to the rear wheels that drive the car. That's horsepower. That's what really makes you go fast.

So I increased that by a whole bunch. I caused all the national people with the go-carts to change their rule books so many times you would not believe it, because I abided by the rules.

I just used new innovations to get around [them]. Well, not to get around the rules, but to work within them and accomplish what we needed, and that was to win races.

That's the contest, because the rules makers are to limit the speed of the cars, keep everything within a safe period, whatever you want to call that. Some don't let them go too fast.

It is innovators their job is to go faster. So you have to innovate.

And it's not arguing or fighting against each other. It's just simply, "You tell me what the rules are; I'll work around those rules and we'll exist in it, but I need to go fast. So I'm gonna innovate to go fast."


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